What better way to spend a gorgeous day in October than on the rooftop of The Met. As it is open for Columbus Day, this was my one chance to also see the Big Bambu exhibit, created by twin brothers Doug and Mike Starn. The exhibit was fantastic – I was able to take great photos of the city with the bamboos outlining the frame of the photo. Upon closer examination, I just couldn’t fathom the patience one must have to build such a piece.
And at first glance it looks as if the two had no plans or format and built as they went along; however within this spew of bamboos, there lies in a structure to support a spiral pathway leading up to the top. Restricted only for guided tours, I would’ve loved to walk on it. Those who were privileged enough to walk along the path looked as if they were stuck in the middle of all these bamboos as there was no way of deciphering the path vs. structure when viewing from afar. (Oh how I would’ve loved a photo of myself wedged somewhere amongst the bamboos above ground for the sole purpose of updating my Facebook profile photo.) Then I was immediately reminded of a somewhat similar Huang Yong Ping exhibit last year at Gladstone Gallery. Regardless, I’ve always admired artists who not only have the skills but just the patience to create art.
Although I made a donation only to see the Big Bambu exhibit, let’s just say I took the long route by going through a number of rooms and exhibits before finally making my way out of the Met. Every time I view any type of abstract art, I’m immediately reminded of a comment made years ago from a non-fan of art on how abstract art is pointless. My response has always been the same: photography. Without delving into it too much (and omitting other reasons and theories), with the invention of photography, it was in a way a catalyst for artists to progress into different forms. Then I just so happened to come across a photography exhibit entitled Between Here and There: Passages in Contemporary Photography. Oddly enough, this exhibit continued into my stream of thinking as it was based on photography’s progression from strictly “wall and pedestal” to different forms of expressing one’s ideas.
Stolen right from the label: In her series Body Configurations, the artist had herself or female colleagues photographed in local streets, stairwells, and alleyways, contorting their bodies to mimic the harsh geometries of the city. Influenced not only by the Actionists but also by the human sculpture of Robert Morris, Export complicates the cooly inhuman systems of Minimalism by reintroducing the human body into abstraction, an intimate yet public gesture that effortlessly transmutes the personal into the political.
Anyway, my brain hurts so now it’s time to watch the latest episode of Eastenders.